As with the generation before me, we grew up with the classic cartoon sitcom The Flintstones, as it was everywhere (and still is to this day) and is easily one of the best TV shows of all time. Now this famous series has finally made the leap to high definition in The Flintstones: The Complete Series Blu-ray set. Original fans can fall in love with the series all over again while new ones will see why this is such a stone age classic.
Before I start my review, I must state that the original batch of this set has an audio flaw on disc one, episode 17 “The Big Bank Robbery” where only the dialogue plays with no sound effects or music outside of the original intro theme. Thankfully Warner Bros. has a system set up where you can email them your name, phone number, address and they’ll send out a replacement disc. Also Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray set and the opinions I share are my own.
Now with that out of the way, I can get into the boulder-sized fun this show brings. It’s hard to believe this series is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and ever since its original run from 1960-1966, it has entertained generations all over the world while continuing to do so. All 166 episodes across six seasons are here starring Fred and Wilma Flintstone, their neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble, along with their friends, co-workers and more as they get into one wacky adventure after another during the stone age where dinosaurs and other animals serve as appliances and machinery to be used (one of the best and funniest things about the show for sure).
From dealing with Fred’s gambling problem, to Barney having a toothache, to the eventual birth of Fred and Wilma’s daughter Pebbles, along with Barney and Betty adopting a son named Bamm-Bamm, the show never fails to entertain with relatable situations thrown in with just the right amount of comedy. Once you’ve seen this show, it’s clear that many sitcoms used it as a base for their projects (*cough* The Simpsons *cough*) as it was clearly ahead of its time and why it became the first animated series in America to have a prime time TV slot.
Thanks to the high definition treatment, everything looks and sounds as clean and clear as it can. Granted this also makes any mistakes and faults in the art and animation more apparent as well, such as dirt, dust, hair, paint smears, and light reflections off the cels themselves. Some video snobs may turn their nose up at these issues, but I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t mind these being present as it makes the show feel real and authentic, unlike most of today’s flash-like art and animation.
If the 166 episodes weren’t enough for you, each disc has a number of various special features, though sadly they’re presented in standard 480p (DVD quality). One of the coolest extras I liked was “The Flagstones: The Lost Pilot” which gives a very early and crude look at what would become one of the best shows ever. It hasn’t been cleaned up at all and looks like an old film reel someone dug out of the attic and transferred it to DVD, but it’s still a fun two minute clip to watch.
There’s other extras such as behind the scenes of the show, how and why it became so popular, one that goes into the animals being used as machines, and a really nice one going into the life of music director Hoyt Curtin who helped Hanna-Barbera become a legendary company with his music and themes.
Lastly there’s two bonus movies included: The Flintstones And WWE: Stone Age Smackdown from 2015 where the stone age family mixes it up with famous WWE stars such as John Cena and more, and the original 1966 film, The Man Called Flintstone which served as a series finale of sorts to the show as it was made as the series ended production. It would’ve been nice if both of these were in 1080p as they were on their Blu-ray releases, but sadly they’re also presented in 480p.
Despite the episode 17 audio hiccup and standard definition extras, The Flintstones: The Complete Series is still the best way to watch and enjoy this classic series. Everything that made the show one of the best is here and made better thanks to a high definition transfer, and just having all of the episodes together in one place. So go ahead and grab this series and have yourself a yabba-dabba-doozy of a time.